Ever Wonder Who Makes IT Purchasing Decisions?

Framingham, Mass. — Nov. 8

A recent study examined the stages of the IT purchase process, the level of involvement of IT decision makers versus business management at each stage, and the information sources these professionals rely upon.

IDG Enterprise — the media company comprising CIO, CIO Executive Council, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World — released the results from the annual 2010 Role & Influence of the Technology Buyer survey.

The study, completed by more than 2,400 IT and business respondents from a range of industries, shows that IT managers continue to be more involved in every stage of the IT purchase process than their business management colleagues.

Results also show that within IT, the purchase process is decentralized, with a mix of titles involved at each stage. Decentralization increases with company size, with an average of 13 people influencing major IT purchases at enterprise companies. The study also examined the length of the purchase process given familiarity with a vendor and information sources used throughout the purchase process.

“The 2010 Role and Influence research clearly shows that it is essential to engage multiple IT stakeholders within the IT decision-making process,” said Bob Melk, senior vice president and group publisher for IDG Enterprise.

Key findings include:
• IT management is significantly more involved in the IT purchase process than business management.
• IT leads the charge for evaluating solutions and vendors as well as recommending and selecting vendors, therefore reaching IT management is key during the IT purchase process.
• IT staff (56 percent) is as vital in the vendor selection process as IT management (57 percent); however, the CIO (60 percent) approves/authorizes the final purchase.
• Top resources used throughout the purchase process are technology publications (70 percent), technology content sites (69 percent), peers (68 percent) and white papers (68 percent).
• Peer sources (68 percent) are in a virtual tie with technology content sites, technology publications and white papers as the top sources of information that respondents rely on to be effective in their roles. In fact, 46 percent of senior IT management titles cite business networking sites such as LinkedIn as sources of technology information and job-related knowledge.
• The IT purchase cycle is reduced by two months when stakeholders work with vendors they already have a relationship with.

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